During his end-of-season press conference, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he “200 percent” expects to have Lamar Jackson back next season, despite the team’s inability to come to terms on a contract extension with their star quarterback.
The latest report on their negotiations stated that the two sides were $100-million apart, which seems like quite the gap.
The most likely scenario at the moment would seem to be the Ravens franchise tagging the former MVP, but according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero, that doesn’t mean they still can’t deal him afterwards.
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In a recent article, the three insiders detailed how Jackson could still be traded, even if he signs an exclusive or non-excluside franchise tag with the team. Via NFL.com:
If the sides don’t come to terms on a long-term deal before the March 7 tag deadline, the likelihood is still that Jackson plays in Baltimore. Yet there are multiple ways Jackson could end up playing elsewhere in 2023.
The Ravens could tag Jackson and explore options for a trade, with surely no shortage of suitors for one of the NFL’s most dynamic talents. Jackson would effectively have veto power over his destination, since he’d need to sign the franchise tender to complete the deal and any team giving up the level of compensation would want to work out a contract.
If Baltimore places the non-exclusive franchise tag (worth $32.416 million) on Jackson, that would allow him to negotiate a contract with another team; if the Ravens don’t match, they’d get two first-round picks as compensation and Jackson would get a new home.
Jackson has battled through injuries over the last few seasons, which has to be factoring into the Ravens’ reluctance to dump a bunch of guaranteed money into his contract. At the same time, he’s undoubtedly one of the most explosive, game-changing players in the league today. And Baltimore is clearly a much better team when he’s under center for them.
Will that be enough to convince them to re-sign Lamar Jackson to a long-term deal? Or will the money end up forcing them to trade away their prized quarterback for a bunch of draft picks?
With the franchise tag deadline less than a month away (March 7), you can expect the Lamar Jackson rumor mill to pick up plenty of steam over the coming weeks.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.